1st District Congressional Candidates Face Off at Forum | News, Sports, Jobs
GILFILLAN ESTATE — Republican 1st District congressional candidate Brad Finstad of New Ulm was not at a loss for words Tuesday during the candidates’ forum on the opening day of Farmfest 2022.
“I am very proud to be here. I think this is my 35th or 36th year at Farmfest. My family farm is just down the road,” says Finstad. “I grew up as a farmer and a pig breeder. I have been collecting manure since I was young. Unfortunately, that probably prepared me for politics.
Finstad said he and his brother owned and operated a farming business in New Ulm, and they saw the challenges in farming, including the need for more immigrant farm workers.
“The government’s response to this has been entirely political,” he said. “There has been no common sense in the immigration debate in this country for far too long. More recently, we have seen President Trump implement strict border control. Now we no longer have a border policy. We must eliminate politics and tackle immigration once and for all. I want to bring common sense solutions to the table.
Republican challenger Jeremy Munson of rural Lake Crystal spoke about birthright citizenship.
“We must secure our border, but also increase legal immigration, especially for agriculture. People all over the world want to take advantage of the opportunities we provide,” Munson said.
Munson said there is a bill out of Congress to address birthright citizenship, which is needed. He said a robust immigration program to bring guest workers to the United States is needed when there is huge demand, like now.
Legal Marijuana Now party candidate Richard Reisdorf of Mankato said immigrants’ backgrounds should be considered to see what job they are suitable for.
“It’s really jammed right now. People should be directed to the work that best suits them,” he added.
Finstad said the over-regulated immigration process isn’t working.
“We welcome people on H-2A visas and do not allow the spouse to work because the process does not allow it”, said Finstad. “Common sense says we can solve this problem. It’s just ridiculous. We must eliminate regulations and red tape that defy common sense. We must also ensure that immigration fills the gaps that we have.
Munson agreed that bureaucracy should be eliminated.
“We need to make sure that we have US-based immigration and that guest workers are brought in when there aren’t enough Americans to do the job,” Munson said. “We must protect our economy and close our borders against illegal immigration. So many American employers hire undocumented citizens, treat them badly and create second-class workers.
Lawyer-mediator and part-time realtor James Rainwater, R-Lake City, said he wrote immigration laws.
“I think the DREAM law is important to pass. There are a lot of incredibly talented people who are here because of what their parents chose. There are a lot of people hiding. said the rainwater. “We need to streamline things to make it easier for people to pass.”
Under the DREAM Act, undocumented immigrants who entered the United States as minors would gain permanent resident status if they met specific qualifications.
Jeff Ettinger, the Democratic nominee for the Aug. 9 special election to fill the vacant 1st Congressional District seat, was not in attendance after testing positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday morning.